In a league that seems to be dominated during the offseason with reports of arrests and other discipline problems with its employees, every once in awhile you get an actual feel-good story. In the case of the exonerated Brian Banks, it could be a Hollywood ending for the former top prospect.
After serving five years and two months in prison for a crime that he did not commit, Banks, now 26 years old, made national news earlier this month when a judge officially threw out charges against him after the woman who accused him of the crime admitted that she had fabricated her claims on the social media giant, Facebook. But instead of crying foul about how the system and false accusations has ruined his life, he is making the most of this second chance.
The Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins have called Banks for a tryout, as well as the Seahawks, who are thought to be the most meaningful to Banks. Pete Carroll, head coach in Seattle, had gotten a verbal commitment from Banks to play at USC when he was a prep star linebacker at Long Beach.
A 6-foot-4, 225-pound middle linebacker in his senior year of high school, Banks has reportedly been training six days a week to get back into football shape. But making a team isn’t the point of the story. This kid is getting a second chance to live out a dream that a couple of months ago he couldn’t even think about seriously.
It’s tough for someone who played division I football the season before to make it in the NFL, but if determination and heart are really measurable, Banks has it in bunches. Any normal person would be so messed up psychologically that the last thing they would be ready for is a challenge like this.
Last week on “The Today Show,” Banks looked in the camera and told NFL coaches to give him a shot to show them what he can produce on the field. It appears that several coaches were listening, as well as teams in another sport. It’s been reported that the Arizona Diamondbacks offered him an opportunity to work in their front office.
Will Brian Banks be able to make an NFL roster? I have to believe that he will have every opportunity to. Even if he sticks around on someone practice squad, that’s probably more than he dreamed possible over the past five years or so.
But even if this ends in him not making a team and just getting a second chance at life, well I’d call that a victory as well.
Filed under: NFL